Wanda rejects Pro Triathlete Org offer on Ironman

The Professional Triathletes Organisation has had its offer of a buyout of the Ironman series rejected by owner Wanda.

In the news following an open letter released at the end of September by the Tri Org, the buyout bud came in tandem with appointments at the top, with Sam Renouf joining as CEO. Renouf joined from the Motiv Group and had previously been part of the Active Network’s executive leadership.

With the offer rejected the PTO has now issued a second open letter, which reads:

On behalf of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (the “PTO”) we acknowledge that, in response to our letter dated 20th September 2019 proposing to enter into discussions for the acquisition by the PTO of all of the assets of the Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (“WSG”) related to its worldwide triathlon and mass participation business (the “WTC Triathlon-MP Business”), you have sent us the following response:

“I have discussed your letter with my Board. While we appreciate your interest, we are not prepared to engage in a discussion around a sale at this point.”

Please be advised that the PTO will continue to implement its strategy for self- determination successfully followed by professional athletes in other sports such as golf and tennis, and we plan on moving forward with acquiring and operating events in the space to celebrate the sport we are so passionate about. Rest assured that our plan is not mutually exclusive and our proposal to enter into discussions to acquire the WTC Triathlon-MP Business remains open. Together with North Point Advisors we are prepared to begin such discussions immediately should the WSG Board reassess its position.

As we have mentioned, we have great respect for you and the dedicated Ironman management team. Unfortunately, we believe the over-leveraged capital structure of WSG has hampered the ability of the organisation to make the needed investments in the business, putting great constraints on its operating capabilities, and has demoralised the talented and dedicated staff.

The WTC Triathlon-MP Business and the triathlon community would be well served by a new owner who would be able to rectify the structural and leverage issues that exist today. We believe the PTO is uniquely positioned to be able to pay a fair price to WSG, thus providing value to its stockholders, inject additional capital for needed investment, and incentivise and unleash the Ironman management team to achieve great things for a sport for which we all have a tremendous shared passion.

We are very excited about the upcoming Ironman World Championships at Kona and grateful for the entire Ironman team as they work diligently in staging a truly world-class event. It is a great opportunity to celebrate the abilities and achievements of all the athletes competing, professionals and age-groupers alike, as well as all the volunteers who contribute so much to the triathlon family. We wish you the best of luck with the race and are confident it will be a huge success.

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